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The Albion at Boundary (London)

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Address: 2-4 Boundary Street / Shoreditch / London E2 7DD

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      30.08.2012 12:38
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      Food was excellent but the area isn't the best

      The Albion is a cafe/shop/restaurant locate on a back street behind shorditch high street in London's vibrant Shorditch. The restaurant is part of The Boundary complex owned by Terrance Conran. It specialises in breakfast and unfussy British staples such as fish and chips at other times of the day.

      The area isn't the nicest part of London. It's on a shabby street parallel to Shorditch High St directly behind The Sports Bar, London's grottiest strip club (so word has it... I haven't experienced it personally). The entire complex takes up the whole block and the Albion is located on the ground floor.

      The restaurant is decorated very sparsely and consists largely of rudimentary wooden tables and chairs. It has a warehouse feel and plays on the shabby chic style and seems as though it prides itself on the lack of glamour of it's setting. The blocky wooden tables are squeezed tightly into a narrow room leaving little room between tables. Thankfully there are large windows throughout so it doesn't feel too cramped, in fact it is airy and light in feel.

      The menu caters both for breakfast and also quite extensive options for lunch and dinner mostly of a hearty nature with dishes ranging from rabbit stew and game pie to kedgeree and numerous fish dishes. We went at around 3pm so weren't keen for the breakfast but opted for the fish and chips which was fairly reasonably priced at £11.50. They support local produce so accompany the meal I had a local beer that was light and flavoursome and my wife ordered a diet coke (not produced locally!). The fish was exceptionally good quality and very fresh. The batter very thick and crispy and the chips thoroughly cooked (perhaps even triple?) to give them a crunchy consistency. The portion size was not enormous but filling enough and in general the meal was thoroughly enjoyable and ranking with some of the better fish and chips we have had.

      Service was on the whole OK but a bit slow. Our waiter was friendly enough but we found we had to struggle to get his attention to order and similarly for the bill. Also, clearing of tables took quite a while. To be fair, they were very busy but we sat with our plates in front of us empty for 10-15 minutes with the leftover smell of fresh fish ever present in the air. I would have liked a little more attention paid to service, cleanliness and efficiency. Other than the table, the place was however on the whole clean including the lavatories.

      The quality of the food was excellent but the setting and service was lacking in my opinion. Apparently the breakfasts are excellent so will go back to try it an would visit again for lunch if local but wouldn't make a specific journey to go there.

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